YouTube Rewind 2018: A Communications Failure

Top 3 Reasons Behind the Million+ Dislikes


YouTube Rewind 2018 was a gigantic communications failure. Here are the top 3 reasons why the Rewind 2018 video received an unusually large number of dislikes.

No transparency: When YouTube decided to exclude a few popular content creators from the Rewind video, it did not communicate this decision effectively to its target audience. A short 2-minute-long video summarizing the actual reasons (without any names of course) would have significantly weakened the dislike movement.

This simple video announcement would have done the trick: “Hey guys, this is XYZ at the YouTube HQ in California and I just wanted to let you know that we are almost done with Rewind 2018. Including every single content creator in YouTube Rewind 2018 is indeed going to be a challenging task for us. YouTube has, therefore, decided to showcase creators whose videos resonate really well with this year’s theme (mental health, being different, support for Asia-specific content, or whatever the chosen theme was). We would like to apologize in advance for not including a few content creators whose content was not in line with the theme or with well-established policies on ethics and fair treatment*. Thank you for your time and we hope you enjoy watching YouTube Rewind 2018! See you later…”

*Fact: A few popular YouTube creators had repeatedly used discriminatory slurs and inappropriate language in their (2018) YouTube videos. The language, as well as the content presented, was not in line with certain ethical, societal, and professional guidelines/expectations. 

Inaccurate communication: What was YouTube Rewind 2018 really about? Was it about mental health or was it about being different? Were non-Western countries the primary focus of this year’s theme? Nobody knows for sure.

What went wrong: Whatever the theme was, the actual video presentation did not do any justice to it at all. What people ended up seeing was a compilation of absolutely random video clips stitched into a profoundly incomprehensible piece of endless choreography.

Scene no. 1: Strangers exit a flying school bus.

Scene no. 2: Rich (but homeless) kids spot someone falling from the sky (while they are still busy stealing a shopping cart) and one of them expresses a sudden desire to enjoy a pizza (“Is that Marques? I want a pizza!”).

Scene no. 3: The previously featured shopping cart gets tossed into a large water body for apparently no reason. 

Scene no. 4: The camera pans in on a creepy nocturnal monkey. Meanwhile, a lady announces to a large group that they apparently control Rewind 2018.

Scene no. 5 onward: The mysterious dialogues and the associated choreography continue all the way up to 8:13. Everyone feels relieved at 8:14 (apparently, that’s the best section of this video. That and 0:00 of course).     

Attempts to please everyone: Although it is generally a good idea to present your audience with enough choices, overdoing the same can have a detrimental effect. In this case, most of the YouTube Rewind 2018 viewers found it difficult to keep up with the sheer volume of content presented in 8 minutes and 13 seconds.

Sample feedback: “I know Lilly Singh, Bhuvan Bam, and perhaps those ladies wearing T-shirts, but hey, I really do not know who these other people are and why I need to watch them for a grueling 8 minutes and 13 seconds. I therefore, do not feel compelled to press the LIKE button. If you could kindly excuse me..

Best wishes to YouTube for Rewind 2019!

Please share this post with your network and make sure you check out Videonium’s parody on YouTube Rewind 2018 (“Unwind 2018”) today.







One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.